9-year-old boy dies in Huntersville house fire

by: Holly Maynard Updated:


HUNTERSVILLE, N.C.,None - Huntersville police searched all day Monday for clues as to what caused a fire that killed a 9-year-old boy.

The fire marshal's office said they do not believe the fire is suspicious, but they still do not know what caused it.

The fire started around 2:15 a.m. on Holbrooks Road, off of Old Statesville Road.

Neighbors heard Margretha Pinkney screaming for help. They were able to pull her from a window, but they could not get to her son, Nikko'las "Nikko" Pinkney. They said the flames and smoke were too intense.

Lynn Schlierf ran a summer camp program that Nikko participated in. She said he was one of the bright spots in her life. "He was everybody's angel," she said. "He was one of the greatest kids I've ever met. He's the reason why I work with children."

Family members said he was a fourth-grader at Waddell Language Academy. He was fluent in Chinese and other languages. "He was a brilliant, well-respected young boy," said Jerry Grier, a cousin.

Monday afternoon, an Eyewitness News crew saw investigators examine several burnt objects from the home, including what looked to be a television. They also used a dog, which helped rule out arson.

Now police said they want to talk more with Margretha Pinkney to see if she can help them with a cause.

She is recovering in the hospital from smoke inhalation. Her injuries are not life-threatening.